1836 – 1921
Who was James Wilson?
Born James McNally in Newry, County Down, Ireland on 6 February 1836, little is known of his early life. He apparently joined the British Army at the age of 17 to avoid arrest for the battery of a police officer.
He served in India before returning to Ireland where he became a Fenian, being sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1864. The following year he deserted, along with Martin Hogan, from the British Army in anticipation of an expected Fenian uprising.
Wilson, along with other military Fenians were tried, found guilty of desertion and mutinous conduct, and sentenced to death. However, this sentence was later commuted to penal servitude for life, and they were transported to Western Australia. In October 1867, Wilson and sixty one other Fenians began the long sea voyage on board the Hougoumont to Australia.
Life in Fremantle was hard. Wilson had been sentenced to penal servitude, and found the monotony and work involved so hard to bear that he wrote to a New York journalist, John Devoy entitling his letter, A Voice From the Tomb after having been in jail for some nine years.
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- Feb 6, 1836
- United Kingdom
- Nov 1, 1921
on July 23, 2013
Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:
"James Wilson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 May 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/james_wilson_1836>.